Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I promised I'd tab out Converse's "Old Indian Jig" for Huston...here is the TablEdit file. Since my old PC crashed, I'm still trying to get some of the software up to date and haven't gotten Acrobat back up and running yet. I'll repost this Monday in .pdf format.

If you don't have TablEdit viewer, you can download it (free) from their website: http://www.tabledit.com

You can view, print and play the MIDI file from the viewer.

BTW, this is a very cool tune...Amin I believe (out of eAEG#B tuning).

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Ok, now that I have gotten Acrobat 9 loaded, here is the .pdf!
Thanks as usual for your paitent work tabbing out this stuff, Marc. You should publish a tab book some of these days.

This material is interesting and useful in that it's kind of a bridge between the minstrel and classic eras. Actually, Old Indian Jig is full blown classic, but not the usual kind of classic style one usually hears, i.e. rags, cakewalks, galops, etc. Old Indian Jig uses several typical minstrel style rhythms and embellishments.

The embellishments are the hardest part. I recorded this for the Banjo Clubhouse, but I left out some of the hardest embellishments.
As I said over on the Classic site, I do have it in the back of my mind to publish some of this stuff. I recently obtained an original copy of Buckley's 1860...it would be fun to do it complete.
Marc, if you do Buckley, I'll start to tackle Converse's "green." Then we can trade. Also, you know I've got a website that I hardly use any of the bandwidth, so... I also have one of those comb binder machines.

I'm just saying.
Don't work too hard on the Greenback book, Joel. I've already done quite a bit of it. I don't have an original copy of it, so publishing TAB would likely be considered a "derivative" work in violation of the Tuckahoe copyright (that is, if I didn't seek permission). I wouldn't consider selling my TAB unless I was working from an original copy...which is why I am very happy to own originals of the Converse Analytical, Converse "little yellow" book and now the Buckley.

No worries. I also have a binder. Folks here will get .pdf copies as I create them...as usual. You can host 'em and Tim will get copies for his site as well.
Ah yes, the good old copyright. Luckily I live with a lawyer. Seems that the only thing that can be copyrighted is his introduction.

Read this,


Also from the US copyright office..

§ 103. Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works

(a) The subject matter of copyright as specified by section 102 includes compilations and derivative works, but protection for a work employing preexisting material in which copyright subsists does not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully.

(b) The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work, as distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, and does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection in the preexisting material.

So the law says that one cannot obtain a copyright license on works that have passed into PD.

That said, one can make a new arrangement or transcription of the work and copyright that, in other words make tabs.

It is obvious that if this rule did not exist, public domain would not exist. Companies like google would own all works ever published.

With all that said, I respect the work and effort that was put into making these books available and because of that I would not make direct copies and sell them or post the complete works on the web.

But lets not kid ourselves, legally the only copyright Tuckahoe music owns is the introduction and back cover ads.

Those are not my words, they come from the people who make and enforce the law.

That goes for all those reprint Sears & Roebuck, Monkey Wards, and any other Dover reprint. In fact, most of the Dover books say that on the back of the title page.

Sorry, I tried to make the same argument about copyright. My girl decided to become an expert on the subject. After a visit to the downtown Dallas law library and a pile of legal mumbo jumbo, I figured that she was correct.
So obviously, this material is public domain. If one were to make tab arrangements, that is free and clear, correct? Now if one were to use the actual printed page of notation, you would have to gain permission from the source, right? Most come from Library of Congress, or Brown University...or in cases like Marc, who actually owns the Analytical. That changes if you put the music into your own software for transcrition, such as Finale or Sibelius. Would you any longer need to identify your source? I have purchased my own original copies of both Buckley Books, as well as Briggs in preparation for something like a publication of early banjo material. The only difference with Tuckahoe and the original source is the size of the print, which has been adjusted. You couldn't photocopy Tuckahoe, but you could use a copy from the Library of Congress with permission, right? If I use actual fascimilies, that needs permission, but not an arrangement (even if it is EXACTLY the same) of my own hand?
My thought has been to put together a book with copies of the ORIGINAL source material, as well as a fresh version of notation AND tab from a software editor. In this way, the nuances of the original are never gone, and players can always check "the source" for small harmonic discrepancies or questionable fingerings in tab against the original.
Yah, Joel, I don't even know a lawyer. However, what is legit and what isn't tends to be resolved in a courtroom...something I don't intend to explore. I've spoken with a couple of people who've been dragged into court on copyright issues...only to have a Pyrrhic victory. The 'music business' end of the copyright process is a mess. A certain famous Banjoist was dragged into court for his TAB of "Nola". The original was published in 1916 and currently resides in the public domain...but Harry Fox owns the rights to the 1950's reprint and threatened him with legal action if he couldn't prove he derived his work from a copy of the 1916 original. Whether that is legit or not, I don't intend to explore (but I do have that 1916 version of Nola...)!

Tim, I like your idea but isn't that similar to what Weidlich did in his series? It seems we three are all headed in the same direction from different corners. Perhaps we should collaborate?
Tim, I like your idea but isn't that similar to what Weidlich did in his series? It seems we three are all headed in the same direction from different corners. Perhaps we should collaborate?

I have not seen Weidlich's work beyond the Converse book he did. Are the original facsimiles in another one of his books?
Tim Twiss said:
Tim, I like your idea but isn't that similar to what Weidlich did in his series? It seems we three are all headed in the same direction from different corners. Perhaps we should collaborate?

I have not seen Weidlich's work beyond the Converse book he did. Are the original facsimiles in another one of his books?

As I recall (I'll have to go look at the books again), he put a few examples in. Now that I think of it, perhaps I'm thinking about another book? Damn, I hate getting old! I'll look when I get home this evening. Certainly they only cover 'selected' bits.

However, I know of nothing short of the Tuckahoe reprints that contain "all" the music from each book. I think it would be great if we could just "do it all" for each book. My idea was just to simply provide a TAB "companion" book for each. That wouldn't address your concerns about the fingering but I'm less concerned about specific fingering and more concerned about "getting it out there". Printing both notation and TAB isn't a big deal and for the most part, even with both staffs, each tune will be a "single pager" (I'm sure there will be many exceptions). What I don't want is a big, honkin' (read: expensive) tome. Briggs and Converse "greenback" should be short and sweet...Buckley is pushin' it and the Converse Analytical will probably need to be broken up into "Stroke" and "Guitar" volumes.
I had been experimenting with a format of TAB and transcribed notation sharing a page, and another page with the original music reprinted. I'm sure you all have the Briggs. If not, I will put that up. Here is "Jim Along Josey".
Like any music publication, getting the real estate to work out smoothly will be an issue. It would be nice to have one page with notation/tab (as you have posted) and the facing page with a facsimile of the original. Some tunes will be so short that one might put two per page, others may take up two pages and not leave room for the original.

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